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Old 08-14-2015, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default Scotchbrite damage to gel coat

We bought our boat back in May, today I finally got a chance to do some cleaning, waxing, polishing. The previous owner graciously removed the MAXUM, logo on one side of the boat and used sand paper or steel wool, or more likely one of those green scotchbrite pads, to remove the left over gunk. Needless to say the hull got scratched up from this. Today I tried to remove the scratches with no luck. My method was as follows.....

Washed the entire boat first and stripped all the old wax off, used turtle wax polishing compound on the scratched area over and over and over again. Used 3M marine wax over top of that over and over and over again. This was all done manually as I don't own an electric polisher and I do not have access to an electrical outlet where my boat is stored, bringing to my house is not an option for a number of reseasons. Spent 8 hours reapplying wax to the whole boat, I am currently completely out of elbow grease and just typing this is a pain. I have read a few things about wet sanding with 2000 and 1000 grit sand paper. Would this be my next step or is there another way?

Thank you for any advice.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:51 PM   #2
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Depending on how deep the scratches are you may want to start with the 1000 grit or if not too deep just go with the 2000 grit. Then use a fiberglass polish followed by wax.

Note when sanding do not do circles just back and forth motions.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:22 PM   #3
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A buffer is the way to go here. A portable genny should take care of power needs. you could try wet sanding, but you're going to need to get down into the lighter cutting grades anyway and by hand that will be monumental.
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Old 08-17-2015, 01:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info, shrew, in my college days, I polished aluminum motorcycle frames by hand. It took anywhere from 40-60 hours to do one frame, but they shined like a mirror. I don't think my elbows are up for that. I will take your advice, I have a Honda 2000 watt generator I can take down to the boat. I think I'll start with 1500 grit wet sanding and see if that cuts into the scratches. I'm thinking this will be similar to working with the aluminum motorcycle frames. Those started with air craft stripper to get the clear coat off, then 120 grit all the way to 3000 grit and finished with jewelry polish( did this is the living room of my apartment in the winter haha).
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Old 09-23-2015, 07:01 PM   #5
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Finally got this project taken care of. I started with a 2000 grit wet sand and followed up with Aqua Buff 2000 compound on a wool buffing wheel. I could not believe how well this turned out. It took me a total of 30 minutes from start to finish, including clean up of supplies Attached is a pic of the finished hull. I was so excited to tackle this job, i forgot to take before photos. I did take a picture of the port side, showing the original "MAXUM." logo that was removed from the starboard side by the prior owner with some type of sand paper or something similar.

Oh all this done while my 16 week pregnant wife waited patiently in her new zero gravity chair HA.


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Old 09-23-2015, 07:14 PM   #6
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Thank you for taking the time to post the issue and resolution. Like the your boat's previous owner, I too tried to use a Scotchbrite pad on my boat this summer. The intention was to remove a little lake-water-yellowing.

Then I noticed what I had done to the perfect finish when changing the angle of viewing....

Your experience will help me return the boat to showroom condition this coming Spring
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